New homeowners can feel overwhelmed by the responsibility and decision-making of homeownership. When you find yourself moving into a new home, you are starting from scratch and you will end up spending the next few months (and years) getting to know this new space you call home. It is important to figure out and understand how the homeowners before you took care of your new home and what you can do to make it more energy-efficient.
Here are some tips to help you save energy and money before you even get completely settled in.
Heating and Cooling
Heating and cooling your home properly is the most cost effective way to manage your utility bills. Scheduling heating and cooling times with a programmable thermostat when you’re home vs. away is the simplest way to do this. If you live in an older space without a programmable thermostat, be sure to get one. If you’re a renter like me, I would recommend suggesting the upgrade to your landlord, as it will save the both of you money over the long term.
Another quick fix to cut heating and cooling costs is replacing filters on furnaces and air conditioners. Also be sure to move any furniture blocking air vents. This will keep your HVAC system functioning efficiently in your space. It’s also a great way to reduce allergens.
Being it is summer, cooling a home is paramount. Try keeping your blinds drawn during the day to block the sun’s heat and keep the home cooler even when the air conditioner is off.
Simple Energy-Saving Tricks You Can Do Yourself
Try these professional money-saving ideas and you’ll live happily ever after:
1. Run Appliances at Night
Daytime is when most of your family is “plugged in” or using the most electricity. With multiple TVs, laptops, phone chargers, etc, running at one, this core-use time can put a big strain on your utility system. A simple solution is to run the dishwasher, washing machine and other appliances at night so they do not have to compete for energy use during the day. Plus, electricity is often cheaper during off-peak hours.
2. Install Energy-Efficient Items
With the energy efficient revolution firmly planted in the collective paradigm, builders of new homes are reaping a myriad of benefits. Some include lower cost for utility bills as well as generating revenue. The areas that have been targeted are insulation, windows, skylights, doors, solar and wind technology, and Energy Star appliances.
Efficiency abounds in new home construction for both energy and cost. Taking these steps at the beginning of the process will maximize this important potential. Homeowners can install most of the items listed. It is recommended to research and partner with contractors that specialize in green technology.
3. Cover Drafty Windows
Thirty percent of your home’s heating energy can be lost through windows. Window coverings can reduce energy loss through the windows, which results in lower heating and cooling bills, and improves home comfort. About 30% of a home’s heating energy is lost through windows. So after weatherizing her drafty windows and also invest in curtains and blinds.
4. Weather Strip Those Windows
If you have drafty rooms, your windows or doorframes are probably to blame. Purchase weather stripping at your local hardware store and seal leaks around windows or doors. Weatherstripping, like caulking, is a simple, cost-effective way to stop air leaks. You can use Weatherstripping in your home to seal leaks around moving components, such as doors or operable windows.
5. Opt for Smart Power Strips
Devices that continue to draw power when they appear to be turned off can cost up to $200 a year in wasted energy. Fight this by regularly unplugging your devices, or let a smart power strip do the work for you. Smart power strips are designed to know when you aren’t using your appliances. They detect when devices are in standby mode and cut off power to save you energy—and money.
6. Insulate Your Electrical Outlets
Simply installing foam gaskets behind a switch plate can easily save energy and reduce air leaks. It is a simple, low-cost option that any homeowner can do.
7. Use Ice Trays
Automatic icemakers are great, but how often do you use ice? If you are not a daily user, opt for those old-fashioned ice trays to prepare your cubes instead. Believe it or not, that ice-making feature on your fridge sucks up a great deal of energy. By using ice trays, you can save up to 20 percent on your fridge’s energy use!
8. Do Not Mess with the AC
Keep your cooling system set at a comfortable temperature and turn on your ceiling fans. You will use less energy and your ceiling fans will do much of the work.
9. Blanket Your Water Heater
Did you know your water heater can lose heat through its outer frame? Yep! Fit yours with a fiberglass “blanket” to save on your water heating bill. For additional savings, try lowering the water temp, too.
10. Choose Tankless
If you need to replace the water heater in your new home, consider going tankless. These models only heat your water when you turn on your faucet or shower—so you can save a bundle on energy compared to a traditional water heater.
11. Buy a Laptop
Laptops use about one-third less energy than traditional desktop models. Upgrade to a laptop and you’ll be saving money in the long run!
As you gain experience as a homeowner, you will gather your own tricks of the trade that help you save energy. In the meantime, we hope our ideas are a good start. Our team can help you evaluate the best options for your home based on its size and heating and cooling needs.
If your system needs repair or inspection before winter, call us on 951-926-1002. You can also visit our Contact page and complete the contact form.